Monday, November 10, 2008

70 years after Kristallnacht, Germany hails Jewish life

BERLIN (AFP) — Germany marked Sunday the 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom, a prelude to the Holocaust, with solemn ceremonies throughout the country and celebrations of the rebirth of Jewish life here.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Jewish leaders gathered at Germany's biggest synagogue to pay tribute to the victims of Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938 and to the revival of a Jewish community against all odds.

The leader of the Central Council of Jews, Charlotte Knobloch, said she hoped a reminder of the atrocities would rekindle Germans' commitment to tolerance in the face of a resurgent far-right.

"It is our responsibility to keep the memories alive," Knobloch, who witnessed Kristallnacht as a six-year-old in the southern city of Munich, told the congregation of some 1,200 people at Berlin's Rykestrasse synagogue.

"Six million children, women and men must never be degraded to a footnote of history," she said, referring to those slaughtered in the Nazis' bid to wipe out European Jewry.

The pogrom, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, saw Nazi thugs plunder Jewish businesses throughout Germany, torch some 300 synagogues and round up some 30,000 Jewish men for deportation to concentration camps.

Some 90 Jews were killed in the orgy of violence, whose pretext was the murder of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath in Paris by a student, Herschel Grynspan, who sought revenge for the expulsion of his family from Germany with about 15,000 other Polish Jews.

"From that moment on, Jews knew that those who could must save themselves," survivor Betty Alsberg, an 88-year-old who now lives in Israel, told AFP this week.

Read the complete article here, with photos

6 Comments:

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Mad Zionist said...

70 years after Kristallnacht the Jews have retained nothing of how they fell prey to the Nazis, and are following the exact same path of tragic naivette that got them nearly exterminated. Assimilation and good will gestures don't appease extermanationists, it simply makes their job easier.

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Gert said...

MZ:

There's a wholly different type of vigilance in place now: don't compare apples and oranges...

 
At 5:22 AM, Blogger Eitan said...

You're referring to Obamerica and Bibisrael, I suppose?

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Eitan:

Not sure who you are addressing here, MZ or me?

 
At 9:04 PM, Blogger Eitan said...

I'll rule MZ out. That leaves...

 
At 2:18 AM, Blogger Cristina said...

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